Gruiniard Island



Sculptor, George Wyllie at the re-opening of Gruiniard Island.

During the Second World War, the government tested biological weapons on this island, rendering it deadly infectious with Anthrax.

The man defiantly wrestling the sign to the ground in the background is Michael Nubert, then Tory Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, who came to the island on April 24th, 1990 to announce its safety after 48 years of quarantine. 

Although the world’s press was there at the invitation of the government to witness this historical event, George hijacked the proceedings.

He erected a spire in the centre of the island to celebrate ‘the air, the sea, the stone and the equilibrium of understanding’. Then, from a large bottle of whisky, he poured drams for the media, while a very wet and bemused Tory Minister looked on from the seashore.


2 responses to Gruiniard Island

  1. Mark Gordon

    My research suggests that the man wrestling the sign behind George is Michael Von Neubert, Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement at the Ministry of Defence 1989–1990. The secreatry fo state for defence at that time was Tom King.

  2. Sam – Author

    Thanks Mark – you are right. My memory is failing me! I’ve corrected the post.

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